When You Desert Your Website

Deserting your website is not recommended. I often see deserted websites; clients come to me after having left their websites to molder for years sometimes. Once I had a call from a guy who was disappointed with the results of his website, and I had to break the news to him that it hadn’t even been online for several months.

But what if you have been good with the upkeep, and you have a good site, and you just decide to neglect it for a little while? What happens, and how quickly?

I have a client who had me write her a good optimized site and was doing basic minimum upkeep on it, and then Things Happened and she left it alone for a few months. I went on vacation, as far as her site was concerned, and she didn’t do anything with it herself, either. Now we’re back to caring for it, so I thought it would be interesting to share the results.

First, her rankings are fine. I often get frustrated with companies that charge you regular fees to keep your site high on the search engine results pages. If you have a good site and you deserve to rank well for your keywords, then you’ll usually stay at a high ranking once you get there, until some other website comes along and does a better job than you.

There are some highly competitive keywords, and certainly if someone else is working to climb over you, you’ll have to work to keep your place. But there are hundreds and thousands of keywords that you can maintain just by keeping your website online. Your company name certainly ought to be one of them.

Her traffic fell. It fell significantly, in fact — it’s down 28% compared with the same month in the previous year. Traffic to her blog fell significantly once I quit updating it for her, and it also stopped sending traffic to her website.

This isn’t a given — the educational blog I wrote for a former client continues to send almost a third of her traffic even though I haven’t updated it since last summer. The links are still good, the content is still at the top of Google for a lot of keywords, and it should keep doing a good job for her as long as I keep it online.

But a company blog with updates about the company or current news won’t keep doing its job for you if it doesn’t have regular posting.

Regular blog posting is, in fact, all that I do for my own website (the cobbler’s children have no shoes), and my traffic is up 139.50% over the same time last year.

The client in question also got good traffic from articles, and that’s still a high proportion of her traffic — but she’s in a fashion-driven business, so last year’s news is, well, old news. The continuing traffic from the old articles tends to be outside of her target customer base.

She did keep her ads — some high-value paid directories and a banner ad — and those have continued to send traffic.

Now we’ll get her blog and her articles back on track, and see how long it takes to get her traffic growing again.

I’ll let you know.







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